Indiana University Bloomington

The word "great" isn't great enough

Evelyn Powers

Sometimes at a funeral or memorial service, in regard to a gentleman who had passed, we'd hear the words, "He will be missed."

Can't think of anyone those words ring truer for than Dr. Wells.

As someone who would continually ask for Dr. Wells' blessing, support and even financial assistance for a myriad of community projects for over a decade, I can personally attest to his deeply felt caring concern for the people of Bloomington and Monroe County.

Among so many other projects that have become realities over the years due, at least in part, to Dr. Wells' support, we can also thank him for the John Waldron Arts Center and the Amethyst Women's House (for women in recovery from chemical dependency and their dependent children), two projects I approached him about and for which his support was integral to their realization.

Years ago, I knew Herman B Wells was going to be the greatest man I was ever going to be privileged to know and I promised myself that the best possible way I could honor him would be to aspire to emulate, to whatever extent I was capable, his passion for life, his compassion for others, his loyalty, commitment and dedication to anything (or anyone) he loved and, above all, his sense of fairness, both playing fair and being fair to all (no matter the race, creed, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation).

I'm not anywhere close to getting there yet, but I assure you that because of this man, this gift, this treasure who showed so much kindness to me and to so many, many others, I won't ever stop trying to find the good in everyone and if doing what can be referred to as "good works" is part of my calling, then Dr. Wells can smile down on them knowing he was helping to guide me (and guide so many others who will never, ever forget him).

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Wells for everything you were and did and will continue to do as your spirit lives through those of us you so deeply touched.

The word "great" isn't great enough. Spectacular would be more like it. Yes, you were SPECTACULAR. Did you know that?

From Remembering Herman B Wells, 1901-2000:, March 21, 2000

Thanks to the Bloomington Herald-Times for allowing Digital Wells to publish these excerpts from their archive.